Monday, December 30, 2013

The walking salesman...

I walk.

A lot.

I have a knee that requires exercise to keep mobile, and said knee prevents me from things like jogging,  seriously, a half mile run will leave it hurting and swollen, so... I walk.

The thing is, in Texas, walking its unusual. 

Of course, in the summer, 100+ temps make it hellacious,  and in this area, where most people live around 30 miles from their job, it often seems like we're physically attached to our vehicles.  One of my good friends, who jogs 5 miles three days a week, will not walk 2 blocks to his mother's house.  For most people in this state, walking is just not an option. 

Except for me.  I walk,  a lot.

Usually, I walk about 2 miles, every couple of days.  But, periodically, about once a month, I get a bug up my nose, and I decide to do a long walk.  I'm about 4 and a half miles from the center of town, and the post office, and I got it in my head to walk it.  I had an Etsy package that needed shipped, and I decided I could make a quick stop at the drug store for a small item I kept forgetting on the way back. 

I was about halfway along, plugging down the sidewalk of a busy four lane road, when a cop car pulled up.

Two officers got out. 

"Can I help you?"  I asked.

Cop 1 answered, "we got a call that a vagrant was walking through the neighborhood."

He was practically rolling his eyes.  His body language, his intonation, everything about him said flat out that he knew this was a bull crap call, but he had to do his job.

Cop 1:  so you haven't been sneaking through peoples yards our anything, right?

Me: just walking down the sidewalk.  That's why it's here, right?

Cop 1:  pretty much.

So, basically some nervous Nellie didn't want a member of the public walking on a public road. 

The cops have no legitimate reason stop me, but a call was made and he had to go through the motions. 

So cop 1 goes to call on his radio, and me and cop 2 just stand there. 

Cop 2:  So.  Where you heading?

Me:  post office.   Gotta mail this. 

Cop 2:  that's cool.

Both of us:  bored sigh. 

Cop 2:   long walk. 

Me:  yeah.  Nice day for it tho. 

Cop 2:  yes sir it is.  Where'd you get that?

Me:  what?  Oh the skull patch?  I made it.  Sell them on line, and at the flea market. 

cop2:  you made that?  (Leans closer)  is that crocheted?  My wife crochets.

Me:  yeah.

Cop 2:  that looks cool.  my wife would be so into that.  What you get for those?

So basically, some yuppie called cops on the terrifying vagrant, and I got customers out of it. 

That's just how I roll. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My first Christmas present

The Cooper's Hawk came back this morning. 

Today he left me a feather.  Don't know what I can possibly get for him.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Rambling away

Saw a rather handsome Cooper's Hawk in the yard this morning.  He let me get within 20 feet of him, but want tolerating a camera pointed at him and flew off the second I tried.

Not a great weekend at the flea market.  Got the typical Texas holiday weather... ankle deep mud with the occasional freeze. 

Wears your nerves. 

I don't do much for the holidays anymore.  I give myself the gift of quiet.  (I'd explain, but I've explained in previous years and I no longer feel the need to justify myself.)  

Of course, that doesn't keep people from trying to force it on me...  but I'm getting pretty good at bowing out firmly by gracefully.

The day after Christmas May be busy... the gentleman who owns the flea market owns a firework stand and may need help... from December 26 to December 31 is prime time for that business... almost as busy as the fourth of July.  I'm first on the list for sales help. 

That should be good.

No real subject for this post.  Just some ramblings...

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Just a commission I made and decided to share....

Monday, December 16, 2013

I've been upcycling again...

Recently being locked in due to weather conditions make me crafty due to shear boredom.  No point in getting out when everything is closed up, right?

So, I found these beer bottles by the side of the road... bud light platinum,  they do blue bottles because blue glass is just so cool... and I decided to turn them into hanging vases. They're great for rooting and or growing cuttings...

Not totally my idea.  A former dealer at the flea did this with clear bottles and macrame.  But I don't enjoy macrame much, although I will admit it would be quicker tha the crochet I chose.

This is a first experiment... it has problems... but its ok, huh?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

life among the redneck idgits.

yeah... yeah... yeah....

I know I live in semi-rural Texas, and the last thing I should be shocked at is redneck idiocy... but I'm one of those Pollyanna people who believe that most people possess basic logic.  And I'm not exactly anti-redneck.  Lets face it folks, I work in a flea market, I used to drive a truck, I was raised on military bases, most of my uncles were either career military or farmers, and I can recite about every country music song recorded before I segued into gothic and punk in the mid 80's.  I got a pretty good dose of redneck in me.  It's not redneck that bothers me... but every once in a while, idgitness catches me off guard. 

So there I was just minding my own business at the flea market, having a good harmless gossip with a fellow vendor... (about how we think the market should be run... let's not call it gossip, we'll call it a brainstorming session, yeah... it was a brainstorming session...) 

At this point, one of the local crazies... (there are several, flea markets tend to attract a few more than I'd consider it's fair share, but what do I know..) but one of the crazies walked into the booth, and began expounding tea party politics. 

The lady vendor I was brainstorming with immediately found something to straighten on the shelves.  Causing me to think, "Leaving me to deal with him.  Thanks sweetheart, I appreciate that..."

I very politely said that I never discuss politics. 

Lady vendor piped in with... "I'd really rather not discuss this..."

And we kept making these noises... less and less politely, as he continued to hold forth on OBAMA. 

Now, here's the thing. 

Lady Vendor and I are on very opposite sides of the political  spectrum.  But we manage to get past it, primarily because we're both salesmen.  (Or salespersons... if we're gonna get politically correct about it...) It does not behoove a salesman (person) to get into conversations about politics.  Yeah... you might make a customer love you, but you've got just as much chance to make them hate you.  Besides... collectable china doesn't really have a political  position, unless it's got the politicians face on it, and quite frankly, unless the politician was assassinated, his face hasn't got that much resale value.  Besides, I've never seen or heard of a political discussion that changed anybodies mind about anything.  There is no combination of bluster, fact, or charm that magically turns a Democrat into a Republican... or vice versa... so the discussions are useless, and a waste of time that would be much better spent examining Fitz & Floyd china. 

Therefore, salespersons tend to be very good at nudging a person into other areas of conversation. 

As stated,  fellow vendor and I tried the polite noises... I then tried the standard "So... what are we looking for today?"  and I even  tried "So... do you do Civil War reenactments?"  Which sounds strange I suppose, but he WAS wearing a grey Confederacy uniform.  I kid you not.  I couldn't make that detail up if I tried. 

But nothing was deflecting this guy.  He was on a roll, and he was plowing through... with the singlemindedness that sets apart the fanatic political believer.  Or the schizophrenic.  The similarity is uncanny. 

Then he said something along the lines of... "we need to impeach him in the old Southern way.... with a rope..." and I felt it boiling up...

Fellow vendor was left speechless... shocked eyes... mouth gaping... but this did not stop crazyman... oh no...

He went right into... "And nobody can tell me he was a natural born American  anyway..." 

and I exploded.  I don't mean I began arguing.  I don't mean I shouted or even yelled... I exploded as only a full throated baritone who took 2 years of voice lessons from an opera singer can.  Add  to that the fact that I learned to curse on army bases, and said education was then supplemented by Sailor, Marine, and Army uncles.  I'm saying I began bellowing in a voice that was once famous in Dallas when I worked in Punk Rock Bars.  We're talking a voice that could be heard across the punk rock bar, in the DJ booth, by a DJ who was wearing his headphones. 

Now, I'm not proud of what came out of my mouth.  But I'm not ashamed of it either.  It is what it is.  I'm not going into the total bellow... but I will admit that it started with

"Eat shit you two-bit-twat-faced-racist-fuck..." and it went on from there... which  demonstrates an ability I learned specifically from my father... taking a whole bunch of little curse words and combining them into one great big one...  

He ran. 

Which kinda amused several people in the market, as several vendors have, over the last few weeks, been cornered by him.

I doubt he's coming back... and if he does, I doubt he'll try it again with me.  Or maybe he will.  Hell I don't know. 

But I will address this one thing... the Birth Certificate thing is complete and total idiocy. 

Obama was born in Hawaii... here's how it works people. 

When the President first became in politics... way back when he was in Chicago... the CIA opened a file on him.  They do this so that they can be aware of any security risks to the public and to the subject of the file.  Chicago is one of the most volatile political situations in the US, and several government agencies keep their eyes on it. 

Since he started as more or less a community activist, the file would not have been extensive.  As he proceeded up the ladder of politics, the file got bigger as more data was added... when he became a Senator, it was thoroughly updated, and when he announced his intent to run for President, it was gone over with a fine tooth comb. 

At pretty much all points though, the most basic information would have been collected, checked and verified.    And the most basic of information, where was he born, has been verified by several government agencies, several times. 

If he was not eligible for the presidency, it would have been taken care of very quietly, out of public view, and none of us would have ever heard of it.  They might have pulled Mr. Obama to one side and had a silent chat, but it's far more likely that they would have had a chat with several key persons in the Democratic party, and nothing public and embarrassing would have ever come to light. 

Nobody would have been hurt, nobody would have been threatened.  It would all be done very gentlemanly, but Mr. Obama would have never gotten through the nomination process. 


So cut the moronic bull shit.

Friday, December 06, 2013

crochet skull pattern.

way back on the day before Halloween, I showed a pic of a crochet skull I made.  Specifically, I'd seen some on Etsy, and I decided to see if I could come up with a pattern, and I did, and a few people asked if I would share the pattern, and a couple of others sent me private messages asking if I was going to sell it. 

Well, On my other blog, which I just started for the express reason that I'm sick of trying to find the used envelope I wrote something on, I'm collecting my patterns. 

The Crocheted skull pattern is there...

yeah, I'd do an imbedded link if this blasted computer would allow such a thing... I don't know what that blasted glitch is, but it's getting seriously annoying. 

If you're interested is crochet patterns and the other crafty things I'll be posting there, feel free...

Dang it's cold...

Well, our weather hit.  No real snow just sleet and freezing rain.  Ted tho take a few pics, and I'm not happy with them, But it could be because the dim light right now, or maybe it's my mood...

If the following pic had a little more light involved, it might make a good top edge for a Christmas card... 

For some reason I like this one.  Don't know why, my art teacher would be having fits about composition and background... but it makes me happy.  Does need more light though.


And this metal spinner that hangs on the 

is just depressing.  The sleet is ongoing, and we're nowhere near the end of this, so maybe I'll get some photo ops yet.

went out with the intention of getting some ice and snow on the Christmas displays.  Doesn't work out.  The inflatable Santa, when ice encrusted, looks like he had one to many eggnog s and passed out in the lawn... and i must say, he has absolutely no business piloting a magical flying sleigh in that condition.  

Thursday, December 05, 2013


A few months ago, in August, I maintained I could handle the cold of winter better than the summer heat. 

I lied.

Actually, that may have been the biggest pile of bull I've ever tried to sell. 

Yes, the heat drains your energy, makes you sweat more than you can drink, and is just generally miserable, but the cold is physically PAINFUL.  It makes my joints scream inn agony.  It feels like I have a clothes pin permanently attached to my nose.  My face wants to crack. 

Ok... I'm exaggerating.  A little.  Not that much really. 

But there's a big ole snow storm expected, late tomorrow, and I'm not looking forward to it.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Random updates

 Just an update on various things... The Rhipsalis pilocarpa, aka Mousie, the subject of yesterdays post, has opened his first bloom today...
there are at least 50  buds currently on the plant, and more will probably develop
 over the next month or so.  This is the first opening of the flower, it will probably open wider, not that it's that big or impressive.  This pic shows it next to my big ole' man paws...
This next pic isn't particularly attractive, but as you can see, the pineapple (Ananas comosus)  is rooting along just fine.  Another week or two,  and I'll look into potting it up.  The top of the plant is spreading out a little, no doubt gearing up to start growing it's actual long leaves, and the remaining leaves further down on the cutting are definitely fading.  The plant sheds these juveniles as the longer true leaves start growing.  No pic of that though... it's really unattractive...
And the next pic of the pregnant onion (Albuca bracteata) shows it doing something a little unusual.. the end of the flower stalk is splitting in two.  Not something it's supposed to do, but I've seen the plants do it before, so it's not terribly uncommon either. 
And now, we're expecting a rather dramatic temperature decrease this evening, possibly sleet, and freezing rain.  All this week it's been quite nice out,  so I'm off to batten down the hatches and do what I can to prepare for the onslaught... hope all the blog people are having a great day! 
ps... the blasted computer isn't working to it's full capability, and therefore, I can't add the proper links to past posts.  It's all very annoying... but there we are. 

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Plant Profile - Rhipsalis pilocarpa

 I am doing another plant profile post... I got sidetracked from them for a while, but I'm back... This beauty is Rhipsalis pilocarpa. 

As far as I can tell, it has no common name, other than the pretty much standard rat-tail cactus that most of these long thin Rhipsalis get called.  However, I've always called it mouse tail... the stems aren't as thick as a rats tail, and I don't like rats, and while I'm not terribly fond of mice, I will admit they're cuter than rats... so I call it mouse tail.  Or Mousie for short. 

Also, I'm told that the species is rarely encountered.  Which is rather amusing, as I found it on a clearance rack at Lowe's Hardware  store for $5.00.  I acquired this plant at the same time I acquired the Rik Rak cactus that I wrote about in a previous post.  It hung around, and it paid for itself, as I took some cuttings and rooted them to sell for a couple of bucks each at the flea market. 

About three weeks ago, I brought him in from the porch and placed him in the back breezeway, where he gets light, (not as much as outside, but it's the best I can provide) because there was a frost coming through.  Today, when I went out to check the plants on the bench out there, I noticed this...

Flower Buds! 

Which is cool... the flowers should be about 1/2 inch wide, and will be followed by red fruits.  and this thing is covered with buds. so cool...   

The plant, as I mentioned, is supposed to be rarely encountered in cultivation, and is known to only seven locations in the wild, around Rio de Janeiro and San Paolo.  There are 4 known variations in the cultivated plants, but it isn't known whether these are natural variations tied to their wild locations, in which case they would need to be divided into subspecies, or if these are variations that have shown up in cultivation, in which case they'd have a cv added onto the end of their name.  

It's an easy plant to grow.  Given bright light, say in the shade of the front porch, it has green stems covered with white fuzz... these are kid friendly by the way... they're hairs and not spines.  Given stronger light, the stems will supposedly  turn purplish and the hairs get denser. 

These are jungle cactus, so in the heat of an arid Texas summer, they're watered every couple of days, and every day in the triple digit days of August. 

They like a rich, quick draining soil mix. 
Miracle Grow potting mix with some (undyed) bark mulch mixed in works just fine, or you could come up with your own mix. 

Any stem that gets knocked off will root if put in soil and kept moist... or cut a few stems off and make a little clump in a pot, which  will quickly root and fill out in a couple of months or so.

and that's about it.  I'll post an update of flowers and fruits later...  

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Just a howdeedoo

Between the flea market, the etsy store,  and the Thanksgiving induced coma, i haven't had a split second to even think about posting on the blog... so sorry to abandon all of you...  

The first freezes of the year have hit... almost everything on the garden had moved into its winter sleep... except for the roses.  These were origionally some of those grocery store mini roses... 
The blooms are still tiny, but the plants are now 3 feet tall and about 5 wide... and they're blooming despite the freezes...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Little Scarrie Carrie

I was going to post the etsy link for this lovely ballerina... but it sold about 20 minutes after she was listed...  still wanted to post something tho... so here's her pic...

Friday, November 22, 2013


Saw a coyote today... didn't get a pic tho... he was hanging around the dumpster of the church, in the parking lot behind the house.

We've had some bad weather today, wet and cold days, and I guess tje coyotes are looking for an easy meal... but you don't see them often, they're very wary. so I very quietly watched.  They're fascinating to see. 

Then, as he began moving away across the parking lot, another coyote came out and joined him.  Except... this one was white.

I've only vaguely heard of white coyotes before.  They're rare.  The native Americans referred to them as Spirit Coyote. 

I was awestruck. 

I slowly reached towards my pocket for the phone, and the camera, but the slightest movement on my part immediately drew their attention, and they disappeared. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Two updates, and something new...

Alright, this laptop is acting up big time  today, so I'm going to see if I can get this posted somehow...
Back when I first posted about the Pregnant Onion, I promised to update when it bloomed.  Well, it's been blooming for a little while now... so here's the update... better late than never, no?
And the pineapple top is showing signs of life.  If you look really closely, you can see the roots starting to grow...
And finally, last but not least... these little tatted bracelets...
These started when I was using leftover crochet cotton to tat and crochet little "friendship bracelets"  Those little bracelets take about 10 to 15 minutes to make, and I can sell them at the flea market for a buck each.  Of course, you can only make so many of them before you get really, really bored,  and I started tatting this flower lace, because I  remembered the pattern, and then, I noticed that I could thread ribbon through them, and then I wondered what they would look like with buttons threaded on too... and I just happened to have these cool metal buttons from a shirt that had ripped, and now I got these bracelets.  I may sell them at the flea.  Or Etsy.  Or I may find someone to  give them to.  Not sure yet. 
Anyway, as you  can see, I've been keeping myself busy, between making these bracelets, and making those crocheted totes which are selling really well at the flea, and I'm afraid I haven't been blogging as much lately. 
I do check other peoples blogs, so I'm not ignoring you! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Etsy store

Well here's the link to the shop.

Already sold a few things... actually, one of the Bob's lasted less than 15 minutes...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Growing pineapple tops...

One of the big advantages of working at a flea market is that there is usually a guy selling fresh produce from the back of his pick-up truck... Now, there's two sides to this... The vast majority of fresh produce from these trucks and from the "Farmers Markets" is the exact same produce that you find in the Supermarket.  They buy this at fruit and vegetable wholesalers, load the truck and bring it out to sell.  However, since they're not paying the huge overhead... you can get some pretty good deals.  For instance, last week, pineapples showed up at the flea for $2.00 each.  And if you got a fresh pineapple, you might as well grow the thing, right? 
You start by examining your pineapple.  Don't worry about dead leaf tips, the thing will still grow.  Getting perfect green leaves is of course better, but they're not absolutely necessary. 
Second, the further south you live, the more likely your going to find that the top has been 'cored'.  They cut out the growing tips.  They come up with lots of politically correct reasons for this... but the ultimate outcome is that if you're living in semi-tropical areas, say Florida, the gulf coast, California, they basically don't want you producing your own pineapples at home, and they most definitely don't want you growing every pineapple top you get your hands on and possibly producing a cash crop.  A lot of time and money has gone into developing some of these commercial varieties, and they have to protect their investment.  One of the most practical ways of doing this is to remove the growing tip from the pineapple tops to make it much more difficult to propagate.  However, most of the United States doesn't have the right growing conditions, so they only do this to fruit that's being shipped down south. 
Provided you have a top with at least some green, and a viable growing tip, then you grab the fruit in one hand, the green top in the other (both can be prickly, gloves or a couple of dish towels might come in handy) and twist them in separate directions.  The top will pop right off and you'll end up with this. 
Yeah... I know that some people say to cut across the top of the fruit, and leave about an inch of the flesh on the bottom.  Which will begin to rot and stink to high heaven as you're growing it.  I don't recommend that process, as it's icky and messy and just generally not nice. 
Instead, what you do is start removing leaves from the bottom...
As you do this, you'll start to see small rootlets... this is a rather developed one, most are just tiny little bumps wedged between the leaves. 
Keep removing leaves until you get about an inch of stem, you'll start getting into clean stem without rootlets.  You can keep going until you only have the growing tip, but I don't do that. 
At this point, you have two options. 
 1.   The pineapple stem can be dusted with rooting hormone (or not, it's really up to you) then planted in a good potting soil, where it will root and begin to grow within a month
2.  Or you can stand the thing in water (a narrow mouthed Ragu jar supports the leaves and works well) and sit it on the window to watch the roots grow.  
I opted for the latter.   
Now... will I have fresh pineapples?  No time soon.  Provided you can give them enough heat and light, it's generally 12 to 18 months before they can be persuaded to bloom, then a further six months before the fruit would be ready to pick.  In my part of Texas, heat and light aren't a problem, but the lack of humidity seems to affect them in a rather negative way. 
But they do make a rather interesting patio plant, with a resemblance to agave after the long leaves start growing. 
If you have youngsters around, rooting the pineapple you got in your Christmas fruit basket can be a fun project over the winter.  I'll update in a few weeks so you can check the process. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


Ok... I'm going to start out by plain flat out admitting that I have no real love for moles.

They are pesky creatures who dig all over the yard and leave mounds of dirt in the lawn. 

I don't hate the things, and I suppose they serve some sort of purpose in the great scheme of the universe, but overall I'm generally pretty indifferent to the trials and tribulations of their existence, and I would generally prefer not having them around.

Of course, my general indifference is probably hinges on the fact that I've never really been confronted with one.  It is, after all, difficult to empathise with something when you have no idea what it even looks like. And I'm OK with that.

And I would have been perfectly happy in my bubble of indifference for quite some time, if this danged dog hadn't
stuck a pin in it. 

This morning, I opened the front door and almost stepped on the carcass of someone's hunting expedition. 

"Shadow!  Why the hell did you leave this dead... this dead... uh... this... what the hell is that?"

Well, as you've probably guessed, it was a mole.  Don't panic, I'm not gonna post any pictures.  I'm going to confine myself to a description.  If you can imagine a snub nosed rat, with no tail and extremely short hair, who squints.   You've pretty much got it.  

Not the best description I  know, but I'm still not posting a picture. 

Not that I haven't had the opportunity to take a snap shot.  You see, Shadow, the cocker spaniel in question, had discovered he possesses a new skill, and is exercising his talents with a diligence that is almost admirable.  I can't blame him... it's not like he has any other skills, I mean he's not neglecting his needlework or anything. 

So far I have been presented with four of these deceased critters.  Before noon.  I'm almost afraid to go out and fetch the mail. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Some Etsy advice please.

So... it's probably been well established that i work in a flea market.  

Its probably also been established that I'm a not of a scrounge.  I'm not exactly a dumpster diver, but if i find out you're throwing something away, i might want it...

Anyway, the last round of storms that went through left a pile of sheets, curtains, etc damp in one of the dealers booths.  I cornered them they were walking to the dumpster, and aquired them.  

After washing the mildew smell out, I ripped them into strips, and crocheted them into bags.   

Like this...

And the flea market Ladies went bats.  Of five bags, this is the only one left, and only because wasn't finished.  

And tje ladies have all promised me more sheets and stuff...

So, here's the question... If I put these on Etsy, is $20 too much to charge?  They're very convenient.   If they stretch or get dirty, you just throw them in the washer.

They work as shopping totes.  They're upcycled.   All the green buzzwords...

What you think?

Monday, November 04, 2013


Warning:  The following is me just typing from a page in my handwritten journal.  I figured I'd type it into the computer because it kind of shows my writing process, and how much of it is just talking to myself using an ink pen.  It also, has a few amusing points.  Besides, I needed a blog post, and, I really couldn't think of anything happening worth blogging about because I've been focused on opening the Etsy store for the past few days, and rather than rewrite all of it again, I decided to do this.  It also pretty much shows the process of self-doubt, frustration and plain flat out bad writing that goes into making even a small little blurb for an internet store site.  When people say something to me like, "Oh, I so admire writers, I just can't seem to do anything like that!"  I'm often left with the impression that they think Vladimir Nabakov just sat down in front of a typewriter and great novels somehow magically appeared.  I hate to break it to you folks, but there's some effort involved. 

It also reminds me of one of my art teachers.  Whenever someone said something to Miss Jo along the lines of "Oh, I can't even draw a straight line!" she would give them a long look and say... "No one can really, that's why they make rulers."

Which doesn't really apply... but I always liked that story, so there we are. 

Anyway... on to the journal entry.  With one explanation... most of my writing doesn't involve quite this much drama.  The thing is that I don't really like this sort of thing.  Honestly, when I have to write my resume, you'd be well advised to get out of the house.  Taking a vacation to the next state would be a good idea.  I'm not kidding. 


I'm taking a break from setting up the Etsy store. 

The thing that has me stumped is the Describe Yourself box.  I'm supposed to tell the entire world who I am. 

Well, if I'm excruciatingly honest about it, I guess I could just say "I am an arrogant, opinionated, know it all bastard" and leave it at that... but I don't think that'll work.

I could give a sob story, basically saying that buying from me would be seriously helping out a person who is down on their luck and desperately needs the cash and appealing to their pity... but I've done enough sales to know that 1) guilt trips aren't really a good sales tactic, and 2) when you do that you're defining yourself as basically a failure, you can't really blame the planet for thinking you're basically a failure, so I should probably describe myself as a great success story and basically lie. 

OK... I'm kidding.  What I need is one of those annoying feel-good blurbs. 

How about something along the lines of "I am a flea market dealer who has been dealing in antiques and collectables for the past 10 years.  Recently I have been applying my art school training to constructing small, primitive dolls, and other folk art projects."

Well, that's just bloody boring and just like every other idiots moronic blurb and I don't think it qualifies as a feel good blurb because lets face it - it doesn't make anyone feel good or feel much of anything so that just sucks. 

Dammit, I'm a writer, I can do this  or I call myself a writer.  why can't I just stick to bad fiction.  I can do that. I'm damn good at bad fiction.  I'm shit at this self serving moronic shit. 

OK... you start by putting a bunch of info that might be applicable and throwing it on the page, then you rewrite and edit.  Let's start by adding to that boring blurb up there...

How about...  "I am a flea market dealer who has been dealing in antiques and collectables for the past 10 years.  Recently I have been applying my art school training to constructing small, primitive dolls, and other folk art projects.  My hobbies include Gardening, antiques (DUH) getting drunk with my friends, watching bad horror movies and sleeping---

Shit, seriously Claude... OK,

Hobbies.  Gardening.  wood carving.  sewing, crocheting, making crap from nothing... uh...collecting skulls, damn I'm boring...

OK... the bobs are what snotty art people call mixed media constructions... they're a combo of wood-carving, sewing, whateverthehell you call wrapping fabric around wire... I'm not a doll maker, primarily because I'm not that big on dolls... It's really kind of amazing that I make them to begin with...

FUCK the damn cat just vomited on the damn floor...

Ok...  dealt with--- FOCUS

How about this...

I am a mixed media artist who utilizes woodworking, (wood carving?  Whittling? UHHHH)

with textile arts to produce primitive (Folk Art?) pieces.  (objects?  voodoo dolls?  Whateverthefuck you wanna call them?)  and that doesn't work because I'll be selling other stuff too...

stuff to sell

crap I make
crap I bought to make crap but never did
crap other people make
crap that I found that I thought was cool but don't anymore
crap I think other people will think is cool...
face it, I'm selling crap.


I am a mixed media artist, currently working in mixed media/folk art constructions, often utilizing found objects.  I am also the owner of Cactus Cowboy Enterprises, which is a business dealing in antiques, collectables, primitives and vintage objects, which I will be listing to spark your creativity, as I believe the creative urge is the most valuable and underutilized human resource available. 

OK... don't know where the creativity thing came from... but that's actually not bad. 

Needs tweeked, but I'm getting closer. 

Somewhere closer at least. 

I need coffee. 


And that's where the journal entry ends... anyway.., there's my fascinating thought process at work.  Hope I didn't put anybody to sleep at their screens...

And now that I've got that out of my system... does anybody out there know of, or have any experience with, a good Android app for Etsy?  There are several apps out there, and they all have reviews, but I can't make heads nor tails of them.  Most of the apps seem to be searching Etsy, and all of them have a lot of whining reviews for listing and selling on the go.  Thought I'd ask to see if there was any experience...

have a good day...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Skulls for the holidays

Or just for the fun of it.  Saw someone crocheting skulls on Etsy so I decided to see if I could pull off.  Here's the result off this little experiment... 

On Etsy they string them together to make scarves.  They're pretty cool actually.  Now I'm certainly not going to steal someone else's product... but I did have fun figuring out the pattern.
update... 12/7/13
for those of you interested, the pattern is published on my other blog at this address...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nothing much...

Well, nothing much garden related at least.  Halloween is pending, which will be a relief at the flea, but also signals the beginning of the Christmas sales.  I am, as I type, taking a wee break from spray painting.  A friend, a couple of years ago, bought at auction, bought 100 pieces of cast iron Christmas lawn art.  These vary from 1 foot wire gift boxes to six foot tall wire angels blowing trumpets.  There's even a six foot wire Mary, Joseph, and a tiny little Jesus.  And, even though 'cast iron baby Jesus' sounds like a punk rock hit, they're nice enough.  They came from a nursery which had closed down, and we are not talking the cheap wire things you buy at a bargain store.  These are substantial snowmen, sleighs, and such.

Unfortunately, they weren't stored well, and there's rust issues.  So they bought them, I'm spray painting them, and then we're selling them.  And I need to get them done soon, because people like to get the yard decorated at thanksgiving.

Other developments...  I've signed up for square registry, which is a credit card service through my phone,  cheap rates + quick money turnover to my account.  Good deal for flea market people, or anybody really.  Even the lawn guy can take credit cards with this.   Better than PayPal which holds your money for 7 days, them takes another 3 to transfer it.
Will still have to use PayPal online, which is an issue as I've finally decided to open an Etsy store.  I should have done it years ago, but there we are.  EBay is no longer a really viable option for me and I think I was a little disgusted with online sales in general, but I'm getting over it.
I am also now an official member of the Freelancers Union.  Which has no union dues, but it's a loose coalition of independent contractors, freelancers, etc... right now about 250,000  members and growing, advantages - networking and affordable insurance.  Besides, since companies are not hiring permanent employee's anymore, about 1 in 3 people are now independent contractors working without benefits or job security, (which is ok for a single guy like me, but for a parent with kids... not cool) grouping together is a viable option.

What else?   I think that's about it... we'll see...

After I get a bit more painting done, I'll take a few pics of these things.

UPDATE... I was gonna do another post... but what the heck.   I decided type just update this...

Here's before...

And here's after...

Amazing what a coat af paint will do, aint it?  Now, these candy canes were the worst off, but, heres some more pics...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Garden event!

The cutting off of the black crepe myrtle that I wrote about a few months ago has graced me with a bloom. 

It had formed buds, but lost them.  I didn't think too much of it, it was tiny after all... still is... but then it managed another bud,  and here we are! 

There are three different color variations in the 'Black Diamond' line of crepe myrtle. Called red, pink or blush.  This, being the palest pink, is the blush.  Which is good, as i didn't like the red, it just wasn't a good red, and I'm so bored of pink crepe myrtle it's not even funny.  

My cutting has a long way to go to reachits maximum size of 10 feet, but he's off to a good start...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Second spring...

Our long hot summers often send gardens into a dormancy from August thru September.  

However, many plants spring back with the first autmn rains, and its almost like spring again.  Enjoy a few of our blooms...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Doll face

 So, here's what happened.  The flea market where I'm set up is basically semi-enclosed.  To be blunt, it's more like car ports with partial walls, and even though it's safe enough to store things there, when a storm blows through, there's water damage.  Well, storms came through last week.  And some stuff, inevitably, got damaged and got thrown out.  And there was this ruined little clown doll... and I found it strangely fascinating.  So, I took an extreme close-up of it's face with my cell phone, and the results were even more fascinating... and very very disturbing. 
And, I had to test the results.  Of course, there's plenty of dolls and figurines and toys around, in various conditions and states of repair.  So I took some more extreme close-ups.  The results are interesting to say the least.  When you take an extreme closeup of a doll face, you notice things that aren't evident.  You see the blank stare.  The sometimes wicked twist of the lips.  Things that you'd never observe otherwise.  Soon other dealers heard what I was doing... and they brought dolls to see how the pic would turn out.  We were all having a blast.  Here's some of the most interesting pics...
This small poirot doll has a melancholy expression that is only intensified by the dust across her face... before she was cleaned up, we took this pic.
This is a strange doll that needs batteries.  With batteries, her eyes open and her mouth moves, and she carries on conversations.  Without batteries, her latex skin gives her closed eyes a spooky quality.  It must be noted that the dealer who has this doll will probably be discarding it soon, as almost every child confronted with it is terrified.  In real life, she looks a bit like a heroin addict.  In this pic, most of the dealers agree she looks a bit cadaverous. 
Another clown doll.  At least this one isn't creepy. 
This is only erie in that it's far too perfect.  Pretty.  In a Stepford Wives sort of way.  It's one of those lady head flowerpots, made in the late 50's. 
Another Poirot.  This is actually my favorite of the pics, because of the colors probably, those grays and blues work for me. 
This is one of those resin statuettes.  The slapdash paint jobs on these give the pics and almost impressionistic quality.  The statuette was one of those Native American things, Indian Chief with full feather headdress. 
This is a plastic toy.  Green, one eyed grinning monster.  He was in a movie a few years ago, but I have no idea which one. 
Resin sea captain. 
reproduction Egyptian Cat.
Resin Santa Clause. 
Porcelean Baby figurine. 
And that's some of the pics.  Very few of them came out as interesting as the original ruined clown, but they were a lot of fun as a group effort at the flea.  Hope y'all are having a good weekend!